Chocolate is not cheating! After a salty meal, you need a little bit of sweet. This is living, not cheating.Ali Landry
Chocolate is one of the greatest pleasures that life has to offer, providing hope in the darkness of what might be an otherwise drab culinary experience. Chocolate didn’t find its way into the culinary repertoire of the western world until the Spanish learned of it from the Mayan people of Mesoamerica.
From this simple beginning, it has spread throughout the world to be one of the most desired treats of all social and economic classes. National Chocolates Day celebrates the history of this delicious treat, especially in one of its most popular forms, a variety of chocolates.
History of National Chocolates Day
Once they discovered chocolate, the Spanish actually kept the new substance to themselves for many years, typically making it into a beverage and drinking it. But in 1579, a Spanish vessel was attacked by English Pirates, finding it full of cocoa beans. Being unfamiliar with the delicious substance, they set fire to the vessel thinking they had conquered a vessel full of sheep droppings. The Spanish fell in love with the substance and were the first to start adding sugar to it.
Through all this time it was being consumed in much the same way that people consume hot chocolate or coffee today, so when did solid chocolate candies eventually come about?
In 1829 the cocoa press was invented, and with it came cocoa powder, cocoa butter and then solid chocolate. This invention was used to bring chocolate to the world, bringing it out of the exclusive province of the wealthy. As a result, it created a whole new type of chocolate and changed the nature of desserts and sweet treats forever.
In 1847 the first chocolate bar was invented, and its one thousand year history as a substance consumed only as a liquid came to an end. Only two years later, the Cadbury company in England came up with the idea for a box of chocolates, which they made available specifically for Valentine’s Day. The company eventually became the official chocolatier for the royal house of Queen Victoria.
Following the invention of solid chocolate bars came the creation of chocolate covered candies. 1866 brought about the chocolate cream bar from J.S. Fry & Sons, which gave way to a variety of other ideas, including the combination of peppermint with chocolate, the evolution of truffles, covering fruit in chocolate and a wide variety of other ideas.
1875 saw the creation of milk chocolate, and every innovation from there on out has gone towards making chocolate richer, creamier, and more delicious than ever. It is this initial bar and everything after that National Chocolates Day celebrates.
National Chocolates Day Timeline
J.S. Fry & Sons create the chocolate bar
The first solid chocolate bar is made from cocoa powder, cocoa butter and sugar. They will go on to introduce chocolate creams, Turkish delight and more.
Cadbury becomes royal chocolate purveyor
Credited with pioneering the Valentine’s Day chocolate box and chocolate Easter egg, Cadbury earns the distinction of supplying chocolates to Queen Victoria.
Nestlé Company is formed
The combination of two bitter rivals turns into a chocolate company that will eventually become the largest in the world.
Hersheyville is created
Milton Hershey, founder of Hershey’s Chocolate, creates a model factory town dedicated to chocolate and resulting in the Hershey Kiss.
Forrest Gump movie is released
With the famous quote “Life is like a box of chocolates”, Forrest Gump, played by Tom Hanks, is beloved all over the world.
How to celebrate National Chocolates Day
Certainly many creative ways can be discovered to celebrate and enjoy the beauty of National Chocolates Day, including some of these ideas:
Enjoy Eating Some Chocolates
The best way to celebrate National Chocolates Day is to head out and buy yourself a bundle of your favorite chocolates and enjoy eating them – alone or sharing with friends! Whether it’s a simple chocolate bar from a local convenience store or a rich and flavorful fruit, cream, or caramel filled dainty, this day offers every reason to indulge.
Here are some of the most famous and popular chocolate makers in the world and this would be a great day to try them out:
- Lindt. Started in 1845, this Swiss company was originally called Lindt & Sprüngli, and was the first of its kind to supply solid chocolate in Zurich, an area of German-speaking Switzerland.
- Cadbury. This chocolate company in England has been in business since 1831 and is famous for supplying chocolates to Queen Victoria.
- Ferrero Rocher. This Italian chocolatier was founded in 1979 and quickly grew to be a favorite in Europe and eventually North America.
- The Hershey Chocolate Company. Founded in 1894, this American chocolate company is famous for its chocolate bars and kisses and now has a town in Pennsylvania named after it.
Try Making Some Chocolates at Home
Making your own specialty gourmet chocolates at home can be a fun and enjoyable way to celebrate National Chocolates Day! It could be something completely simple, like melting chocolate and dipping fruit in it, or making chocolate covered nuts.
Or, for those who are a bit more adventurous, tons of recipes are available to try making homemade chocolate covered peanut butter balls, mocha truffles, caramel turtle pecan clusters, rocky road fudge and so much more. The options are almost endless around what can be done with a few ingredients and some melted chocolate!
Create a Chocolate Themed Playlist
Celebrate National Chocolates Day with more senses than just taste by developing a fun playlist that’s made from songs that have a chocolate theme. Try out some of these song ideas for getting that chocolate themed playlist started:
- Chocolate by Kylie Minogue (2003). Comparing love to chocolate, the lyrics to this song talk about candy kisses and melting slowly like chocolate.
- Chocolate Cake by Crowded House (1991). Okay, so it’s about cake and not candies, but it’s still chocolate! This song retains some of the style of the 80s and has some amazing pop culture references.
- Chocolate by The 1975 (2013). With a more updated vibe, the English Rock Band, The 1975, brings a fun beat that is great for playing at a party. The song was featured in the 2014 film, Love, Rosie.
- The Candy Man by Sammy Davis Jr. (1972). Though he wasn’t the first to sing this song, Sammy Davis Jr. certainly has the most famous recording of this classic song that has been delighting audiences for more than 50 years. The first recording was made for the 1971 film, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.
Host a National Chocolates Day Party
Die-hard chocolate lovers know that National Chocolates Day is the perfect reason to throw a party! Invite some friends, coworkers or neighbors over to delight in everything related to chocolate. Have everyone bring their favorite box of chocolates to swap with other guests.
The food table for the party might include a chocolate fountain with all sorts of delicious items to dip, like marshmallows and fruit. The music playlist can be filled with songs that are all about chocolate, like the ones listed above.
For entertainment, go ahead and attempt a blindfolded chocolate tasting contest to see if participants can guess the kind of chocolates they are eating. Use some of the ideas above to make chocolates together. Or gather around and watch a movie based around the theme of chocolate.
Watch a Chocolate Themed Movie
Whether alone, with a group, or at the party above, a fun way to celebrate National Chocolates Day is by watching a movie that is based around the theme. There are many to choose from so it’s possible to watch just one or have a marathon and watch several together! Try out some of these chocolate-themed films for starters:
- Chocolat (2000). Starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, this rom com circles around a woman and her daughter who move to a sleepy little French town and cause a raucous as they open a chocolate shop just before Lent.
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005). Also starring Johnny Depp, this is a film version of the 1964 book by Roald Dahl and a remade of the 1971 film adaptation which is a beloved childhood tale filled with magic and–chocolate!
- Lessons in Chocolate (2007). This Italian romantic comedy, called Lezioni di cioccolato in Italian, centers around the plight of two people with complicated stories who end up in a chocolate competition together and fall in love with each other.
- Nothing Like Chocolate (2012). Revealing the plight of those in the chocolate industry in the forests of Grenada, this is the true story of Mott Green, founder of Grenada Chocolate Company. The film shows the work put forth to try to correct the wrongs of the corrupt chocolate industry, such as child labor, corporate greed and synthetic products without taste.
Share Chocolates with Others
Even better, put together a bundle of your favorite flavors and host a chocolates exchange at your work or school, or even just among your family and friends. National Chocolates Day creates the perfect excuse to enjoy and share delectable, indulgent treats without having to feel guilty. Or, just buy a delightful box of chocolates for that special someone and surprise them with it in observance of the day.
National Chocolates Day FAQs
Are chocolates gluten free?
Chocolate, on its own, is gluten free. But when made into chocolate candies, it’s possible that some ingredients with gluten may have been added so be sure to read the label carefully.
Do chocolates make you fat?
Of course, the sugars and fat content in chocolate are not good for the body and can cause weight gain if eaten in excess. But, as an occasional treat, they will probably not make you fat.
How is chocolate good for you?
Dark chocolate (70%+ cacao content) contains substances that are good for heart health, fight free radicals, improve brain function and lower cortisol – when eaten in moderation.
Will chocolate keep you awake?
Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, contains caffeine as well as theobromine, so it could potentially keep people awake at night when consumed later in the day.
How are chocolates made?
Chocolate candy is made from the seeds of the cacao tree that are fermented, dried, cleaned and roasted. The shells are removed to produce nibs that are ground and then mixed with other components to create commercial chocolate.